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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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Breech of Promise to Marry.

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I need a question answered regarding Breech of Promise to Marry. I live in Texas but my ex fiancé lives in Louisiana and has been promising to marry me for over 15 years. I have finally given up but I want financial compensation. My ex fiancé is worth between 2-3m and has promised to take care of me for the rest of my life but I want it done legally and he refuses to put anything into writing. I need to know how to proceed.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

My apologies to you on your situation. Has the person ever made written promises to cover your expenses in any way? (I ask because a promise to marry is not enforceable--courts cannot and will not force individuals to marry if they change their minds). Please advise!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


George, the ex fiancé, has been paying me $3500 a month in addition to paying my car insurance and cell phone bills for about 7 or 8 years. I have many, many correspondences from him swearing to support me for the rest of my life. I want something done legally though and not have to just rely on his word now that I have told him that I'm done waiting.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Also, I'm not sure that I made myself clear. I no long want to marry him but I do want him to pay for lying to me and having me wait for a decade and a half. He can afford it.

Julie,

Thank you for your follow-up. That does help. Do you know if he owns any property in Texas or just in Louisiana? If he only has property in Louisiana, then Louisiana laws would govern. This is called 'palimony', which is a contractual obligation to support someone who is not a spouse. This type of law falls under contract law and not under family or divorce law. The issue is that Louisiana currently does not recognize palimony as actionable under their current regulations. What they can recognize is potential 'common law' marriages from other states. That means that if you or your attorney can somehow prove that you were engaged in a common law relationship in Texas, then you may have grounds to seek benefits. Under Texas law you can claim benefits if you can cover the conditions under this statute--and then use that as a demand for compensation:


SUBCHAPTER E. MARRIAGE WITHOUT FORMALITIES

Sec. 2.401. PROOF OF INFORMAL MARRIAGE. (a) In a judicial, administrative, or other proceeding, the marriage of a man and woman may be proved by evidence that:

(1) a declaration of their marriage has been signed as provided by this subchapter;or

(2) the man and woman agreed to be married and after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife and there represented to others that they were married.

(b) If a proceeding in which a marriage is to be proved as provided by Subsection (a)(2) is not commenced before the second anniversary of the date on which the parties separated and ceased living together, it is rebuttably presumed that the parties did not enter into an agreement to be married.

(c) A person under 18 years of age may not:

(1) be a party to an informal marriage;or

(2) execute a declaration of informal marriage under Section 2.402.

(d) A person may not be a party to an informal marriage or execute a declaration of an informal marriage if the person is presently married to a person who is not the other party to the informal marriage or declaration of an informal marriage, as applicable.



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I, however, must be honest with you and state that you cannot sue someone for essentially leading you on--you cannot sue them for promising to marry and then failing to do so. The courts would not permit such a cause of action. You can pursue benefits if you have writing promising benefits, or if you can prove that he and you were essentially informally married (as that would then require him to obtain a divorce) based on the statute above.

Good luck.

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